Our Focus on Complex Wounds

Example of a Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

34 million Americans are currently diagnosed with type II diabetes and, due mainly to vascular and neuropathic complications, approximately 15% of them suffer from diabetic foot ulcer (DFU), an open wound commonly located on the bottom of the foot that can lead to hospitalization due to infection or other related complications (including amputation in 14-24% of patients). Additionally, in severe cases DFUs and related complications can lead to death. It has been noted that the five-year mortality and direct costs of care for people with diabetic foot ulcer complications are comparable to cancer. Even if the initial ulcer heals, DFUs can come back and about 40% of healed ulcers will recur in one year. DFUs are commonly classified using the Wagner wound classification system in which DFUs.

Pressure Injuries

Pressure Injuries (PI), known previously as pressure sores or bed sores, are defined as localized damage to the skin and/or underlying tissue, and arise as a result of pressure in combination with shear. 2.5 million people a year are affected by pressure injuries in the US alone and 500,000 will suffer a stage III/IV PI annually. The International NPIAP/EPIAP Guidelines classify pressure injures numerically by the depth of the wound, determined by inspection and palpation. Stage IV PIs extend through the deep fascia exposing muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage, or bone. Stage IV PIs are particularly challenging with healing rates for stage IV being reported as low as 13% at 6 months. Approximately 9.3% of acute care patients develop hospital acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs), which are the most common hospital acquired condition. The incremental cost of a HAPI is estimated to add an additional ~$43,180 to a hospital stay which equates to an estimated $26.8 billion annualized cost to the U.S. healthcare system.

Example of a Pressure Injury
Example of a Venous Leg Ulcer

Venous Leg Ulcers

Venous leg ulcer (VLU) is the most common type of leg ulcer, accounting for more than 90% of all cases. VLUs can develop after a minor injury, where persistently high pressure in the veins of the legs has damaged skin. It is estimated that VLUs affect anywhere from 0.19%-0.23% of the general population and approximately 1 in 50 people over the age of 80 has a VLU. Studies show that the amount of these wounds remaining open longer than 12 weeks and therefore defined as “chronic” can be as high as 47%, which results in approximately 300,000 patients in the United States with VLUs that fail to heal with conventional treatments.

Acute Wounds

Acute wounds are recent wounds that have not yet gone through the stages of healing and include traumatic wounds, non-healing surgical wounds and burns. Similar to chronic wounds, acute wounds present a challenge to the healthcare system accounting for 17.2 million hospital, ambulatory and outpatients visits annually². Non-healing surgical wounds and traumatic wounds are the second and third most common wounds in the Medicare population¹. Non-healing surgical wounds are wounds remaining unhealed after a surgical procedure and have reported prevalence in the Medicare population as high as 3%². Traumatic wounds include acute injuries such as abrasion, puncture wounds or crush injury. There are an estimated 84 thousand surgical procedures yearly for traumatic skin wounds³. Burn injury remains a challenge despite advances in protocols and treatment options. Roughly half a million burn patients are treated annually in the US and the length of stay in the hospital for these patients is nearly double that of non-burn related stay².

¹Nussbaum SR, Carter MJ, Fife CE, DaVanzo J, Haught R, Nusgart M, Cartwright D. An Economic Evaluation of the Impact, Cost, and Medicare Policy Implications of Chronic Nonhealing Wounds. Value Health. 2018 Jan;21(1):27-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2017.07.007. Epub 2017 Sep 19. PMID: 29304937.

²Sen CK. Human Wound and Its Burden: Updated 2020 Compendium of Estimates. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2021 May;10(5):281-292. doi: 10.1089/wound.2021.0026. PMID: 33733885; PMCID: PMC8024242.

³DiMaggio, Charles et al. “Traumatic injury in the United States: In-patient epidemiology 2000-2011.” Injury vol. 47,7 (2016): 1393-403. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2016.04.002

Example of an Acute Wound